The majority of Japanese nationals consider high end sushi to be a serious splurge. They totally understand the quality and skills involved. But considering that the quality of the basic ingredients for sushi is pretty high and accessible already in Japan, most in traditional family matrices will take the time and effort to make it themselves, or just go to the local sushi-ya. This includes the kaiten-zushi-ya (conveyor belt sushi). The super-high quality/rare/unique stuff is for the elite chefs to serve to their diners.
Sure, this approach is not going to be the Jiro-type experience, but the standard for quality on average is much higher in Japan. So even “lower brow” can be more than acceptable.
Today’s average Japanese consumer is more parsimonious than the previous generation. Because Japan’s economy has been relatively stagnant for a while, so many have been cutting back on what they consider to be non-essential spending, thus the hesitation on big ticket meals and acceptance of alternatives. The same goes for designer/higher end clothes and accessories - once considered near-essentials. The 70s-early 90s were boom years. Now, the population is crashing and most are hanging tight to their liquid assets for fear of losing it with little chance of regaining it.
When asking one of my cousins in Japan (whose husband is a doctor) why she doesn’t splurge often, her response was one word. “Bakarashii-yo!” This roughly translates to, “foolish, frivolous, idiotic.”
I get similar responses from our neighbors who are from the old country. “Why pay that kind of crazy money when I can make it myself?”